Posts Tagged: California
1

California Dry

"'We have been rationing severely. No plants get watered. That's over. Turned off the toilet. I haven't washed my hair for two weeks,' said Willits resident Andrea Onstad, who was washing her car Monday afternoon. A few blocks down at Gribaldo's diner on the city's Main Street, customers sat at tables with no water glasses. A sign on the wall warned of the drought emergency — water was only available upon request. Things are so scarce that the sheriff's office is on alert for water bandits." –No, this isn't another story about subpar travel accommodations for sportswriters in Sochi. This is Willits, California, in the far northwestern corner of [...]

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Kendrick Lamar, "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe"; Rahsaan Roland Kirk, "I Say A Little Prayer"

There's been plenty written about how great Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar's album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city is. So much that I'm left with feeling like I have little of value to add to any conversation about it. But the video for "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe," came out today and it inspired in me a thought(!) First of all, it's really good. Watch it. Secondly, jumping back and forth in tone as it does, it makes a nice point about how complex everything is—death, religion, fashion, mourning, partying, solitude, unity, nature, all this stuff. All sorts of paradox. Which starts to come as close to truth, I think, [...]

1

How To Build A Subterranean Breakfast Nook Where You Can Cook Up Some Worms And Salamanders

Hippies: Are they good for anything at all? Well, yes, it turns out. If you want a comfy little place to eat breakfast in the woods in Bolinas, California, hippies are the folks to make it for you. These two, Sean Hellfritsch and Rob Wilson might handle cooking duties, too. Although the editing of this video (and this is my favorite part of this video) implies that what you'll be eating is fried salamander. (I hope they brought lots of ketchup.) The music gets really funny when they find a mushroom, too. It's like seraphim singing in heaven. (Have you seen Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy? If [...]

6

Bay Area Real Estate Agents Are Kind of Making Fun of You

"'Asking prices' are not that at all. They are 'marketing prices.' Buyers should never reflexively assign any validity to the price advertised on any particular property. Listing agents purposely under price their properties for sale and set an offer date. 'Why?' individuals may ask. They do it because it works." —Are you in the market for buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area? Sorry to hear about that.

10

Writer Would Prefer You Not Mention Where She Lives, Because Categories Trouble Her

"Of all the things I’ve been called in my time, the one that surprises me the most is 'California Writer.' When I hear that, I look over my shoulder, certain that the phrase must apply to the writer behind me or to my left. It’s the way I feel when I am addressed by my husband’s last name. It takes me a moment to realize his mother is not in the room. Categories trouble me."

12

20 Million People Freak Out Over Cop-Killing Ex-Cop

If you're one of the 20 million people who live in Southern California, you may well be locked in a closet right now, waiting for this Angry Hulk ex-LAPD guy to burst in and kill you. Christopher Dorner, the fired cop and Navy reservist, is blamed for the murder of three people and the wounding of another three people so far. He's currently on the loose in an area roughly defined by Nevada, Arizona, Mexico and California's Pacific coast. So keep an eye on everything! If you see a huge angry guy in a pickup truck, that might be Dorner … or it might be basically anyone you see [...]

3

Readers of Lance Armstrong Books Sue To Get Their Money Back

If you're the kind of lifelong dupe who bought a book by Lance Armstrong, there's really no helping you. But, still, the wheels of justice must turn, etc., and both law firms and the U.S. Postal Service depend upon those bulk-mailed class-action suit notices. So a couple of consumers in California have gone to federal court in hopes of making a big deal over the long-known truth about Lance Armstrong, the professional drug dealer and sports cheat.

Rob Stutzman and several others who bought Armstrong's "It's Not About The Bike" and "Every Second Counts" have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento federal court. It alleges Armstrong duped them into believing [...]

0

This Is An Ad By Dr. Seuss, It Will Cost More Than A Caboose (If You Say His Name Wrong)

After receiving twenty-seven rejection letters, Theodor Seuss Geisel published his first children’s book in 1937. But And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street wasn’t going to pay the bills during the Great Depression.

Still, Geisel’s wife, Helen, encouraged the thirty-three-year-old, who'd left Oxford without taking a degree, to pursue an artistic career—which he did, just as practically as he could. Geisel spent his days at the New York City-based humor magazine Judge, and worked on his children’s books during off hours.

But really he was, by then, an ad man. In 1928, the wife of a Standard Oil executive was thumbing [...]

7

Will Drones Be Banned In This Rich Desert Suburb?

Rancho Mirage sits between Palm Springs and the Coachella festival. The people are rich and generally Republican—the moderate show-biz GOP reigns in this land of Gerald and Betty Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono and his widow, the longtime congresswoman Mary Bono Mack. And now this fancy desert resort town is deciding whether to ban aerial drones from the skies, which would make Rancho Mirage only the second town in the nation to outlaw the robot spy planes. (The first is tiny St. Bonifaciuis, Minnesota; a Virginia city passed a resolution "urging" the state to do something about drones.)

It would be wonderful to realize our rich citizens [...]

5

Wealthy Drug Dealers and Vulture Capitalists Will Soon Have the Housing Market To Themselves

"Fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes in February as limited inventory and access to credit held back a more robust recovery in housing." —Are $950,000 fixers and impossible lending standards and the need for quarter-million down payments with no-contingency bidding-war offers possibly slowing the current idiotic real estate frenzy? Perhaps! But here is a proven fact: Whenever people are acting super stupid-crazy about any market, it is wise to stay the hell away from said market.

Photo by Jeremiahsb.

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Urban Jews Flee To iPhone-less Desert Wilderness For Passover

As a non-Jew who watched The Ten Commandments every Easter/Passover as a child and occasionally marries into Jewish families as an adult, I have been deeply disappointed with the reality of American Passover Seders. Expecting buckets of lamb blood for door painting and ominous bearded nomads reciting death tales from memory, instead I got people talking about college basketball around a glass-and-bronze dinette set piled high with unsavory seasonal items from the supermarket. That nobody at the table really believed in G-d never helped, either. How is He going to strike us all dead when he doesn't even exist?

While there's a lot more interesting food options for Pesach today—[...]

27

Life After Patch.com: A Newspaper Editor Returns To Newsprint

Patch.com was launched in 2007 when Tim Armstrong, the man who turned Google into an advertising company, noticed his very wealthy Connecticut bedroom community lacked a local paper with an events calendar. When Armstrong became head of AOL in 2009 with the mission of transforming the company from a fading dial-up service to a media brand, he sold Patch to his new employers. There are 850 Patch sites, supposedly hyperlocal news operations run by modestly paid newspaper journalists and supposedly supported by neighborhood advertising.

Because the Internet is mostly a garbage factory and AOL produces a great deal of Internet content, it stands to reason that much of AOL's content [...]

4

Rick Perry Very Certain Nobody Can Do Business In California

Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Oracle, KB Home, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Hilton, Oracle, eBay, Charles Schwab, Clorox, Adobe, Oracle … it seems like a lot of the world's top companies are based in California, including more than half of the NASDAQ technology index. But Texas Governor Rick Perry is the kind of man who knows things in his heart, and he won't let any fancy coastal-elite numbers and facts get in the way of what God tells Rick Perry in the dead of night.

That's why Rick Perry's comically dumb voice is featured on new radio ads aimed at getting Californians to move their [...]

12

Sneaky Obama Creates Stealth National Park

While the Republicans in Congress were distracted by Benghazi and tax cuts and being crazy old men, Barack Obama stealthily created a new national park in California. Is this the beginning of the Obama Administration's bold action on the environment and climate change, which until now hasn't been bold at all? Maybe.

Pinnacles National Park was also signed into existence over the lines of an existing national monument dating back to 1908, when Republicans were the environmentalists. The ragged volcanic landscape and habitat for the humongous (and critically endangered) California Condor runs along the San Andreas Fault, 80 miles southeast of San Francisco. But because [...]

36

Are The Startup Fellas Hellbent On Destroying Education Even Literate?

Lost in the maelstrom of sadness, confusion and malaise that marks our annual observance of September 11th was a Medium post by Udacity's new Director of Mobile Engineering, one Oliver Cameron.

Here's the opening paragraph of Cameron's post, "The Story of Building an Education Startup".

Most revolutionary companies aren’t born with the intent to change the world, yet there I was trying to do exactly that. I was on the verge of starting my third company, and I wanted to do something truly special. I listed all of the industries I thought I could have an impact in, and quickly became fixated on education. It’s a market that [...]

5

The Rise and Fall of the L.A. Examiner, a Blog That Was a Newspaper That Never Existed

My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]

3

Brave Heroes Denied $1.3 Million Reward For Finding Killer Cop

When the ex-LAPD supervillain Christopher Dorner rampaged across Southern California last month, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a million-dollar reward for information leading to Dorner's capture. Three brave heroes who survived their encounters with Dorner have since claimed the reward, but the stingy governments and groups who offered the money now refuse to pay because Dorner somehow didn't survive an army of cops roasting and demolishing the mountain cabin he holed up inside for his last stand.

Jim and Karen Reynolds survived a real-life crappy thriller movie when Dorner tied them up and held them prisoner in their nearby vacation cabin, and Rick Heltebrake lived through a harrowing carjacking [...]

7

"Daily Show" Writer Jason Ross On Writing For Free and Breaking Into Comedy

Since 2002, Jason Ross (@jasonjross on Twitter) has been a writer for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," where his team has won a half-dozen Emmy Awards for outstanding writing and produced the best-selling America: The Book and Earth: The Book.

Jason Ross: Here I am.

Ken Layne: Hello, sir! I'm in the middle of the greatest consumer survey in human history.

Jason: That is a fairly low bar to clear.

Ken: Disneyland is building Star Wars Land. This will make Disneyland much more tolerable for me:

Which of the following Star Wars locations would you be especially interested in visiting at the Disneyland Resort? [...]

10

Christopher Dorner Crime Tourism: Big Bear, LA's Mountain Getaway

Unless he is actually the Terminator, alleged maniacal killer and ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner died yesterday in a burning vacation cabin near the Southern California mountain resort town of Big Bear. And for the first time in probably forever, Big Bear is at the top of the news. As often happens when little-known places make the headlines, cable news hosts struggled to understand the mysterious place—did it have access to television or the Internet?—and people on Twitter mocked the confusion of the cable news hosts, while Big Bear residents used Twitter to say things like, "I was literally looking at the house Chris Dorner was at from the [...]

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Venture Capital's Massive, Terrible Idea For The Future Of College

Can you go to college on your computer? Some say yes, and others respond with a resounding no. But one thing is for sure: there is a boatload of public money to be vacuumed off an overcrowded, underfunded educational establishment desperate for at least the appearance of a quick fix.

Enter Udacity, the foremost provider of Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. Does what's above look like college to you? Or rather, is this how college should look now?

They've been described as "a relentless force that will not be denied," revolutionary, "the single most important experiment in higher education." Also MOOCs are getting a drubbing from [...]